During a recent visit to the area, sitting at the kitchen table in the home of Joe McNamara – a Roanoke County supervisor and a fellow Republican – GOP candidate for Governor Ed Gillespie spoke about his tax cutting plan for all Virginians.
Gillespie, who narrowly lost a U.S. Senate race to Mark Warner three years ago, is the Republican primary front runner against challengers Corey Stewart and State Sen. Frank Wagner. A fourth Republican, Denver Riggelman, recently dropped out of the race, citing family issues and a lack of campaign resources.
Gillespie also talked about cutting certain business taxes like the machine and tools levy, but says that will happen at the local government level and in places where manufacturing is a major player it may “make sense” to leave certain business-specific taxes in place. “But I think everyone appreciates the fact that we’ve got to talk about these taxes and the impact they are having on job creation.”
Gillespie’s “Tax Cutting Plan for All Virginians” estimates that the average family of four could save almost $1300 a year in taxes, although he says that is a statewide average that will be lower in some places where the typical family income is lower. The median is about $650, still a “significant savings,” added Gillespie.
Also on hand to meet with him at the “Kitchen Table Conversation” was Vinton Supervisor Jason Peters, former Republican State Senate candidate Nancy Dye, local GOP party operative Trixie Averill and a Roanoke County business owner. “I like these [small venues]. You literally get a different perspective sitting at the kitchen table in kind of a Q-and-A environment, [as opposed] to standing up in front of an audience,” noted Gillespie afterwards. “And these are the things people are talking about around the kitchen table – the cost of college, the rising prices and stagnant wages, the need to have more jobs for our children.”
Gillespie also said he is inviting local government leaders like the Roanoke County supervisors when he shows up at places around the state: “I want to partner with them if I’m governor.” Local government officials know best what needs to be done in the way of tax and business regulation reform, he added.
As for his Democratic opponents (Tom Periello and Lt. Governor Ralph Northam have their own playoff battle on June 13), what he hears from their camps is that “you shouldn’t be cutting taxes for everyone. That’s my point – they are constantly dividing us.”
By Gene Marrano